Most of us go by our day to lives and do our daily living activities without a second thought. We are able to take in and process unexpected conversations, tune out the sounds of irrelevant noise and enjoy a wide variety of new smells and tastes (sometimes a little too much). But what if the senses you rely on so heavily for these experiences fail or mislead you? Individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder navigate our world with a different experience.
STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder defines sensory processing disorder (SPD) as a neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the person perceives results in abnormal responses. In other words, the information that a person with SPD receives from their senses goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses. A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D compared SPD to a neurological “traffic jam”. This traffic jam could look like the child...
Christmas is upon us and there are so many play items out there available but what toys develop what skills from a play- function approach. In Occupational Therapy we use play in day to day treatment, supporting children to build on foundational skills they require in order to learn, progress and engage in everyday tasks. We do this through developing skills areas such as sensory processing, gross motor and fine motor co-ordination, visual perceptual skills, problem solving, creativity and imaginative play and social skills.
Here are my top Christmas present ideas, toys and top activities you can purchase to support developed this Christmas.
Sensory Integration is the process by which sensory information is taken in through the brain and processed. It determines the output, reaction or behaviour. Sensory Integration begins in the womb with our sense of touch starting at just 7 and half weeks. When I was pregnant, I found out at 6 weeks and this was just before my little girl was starting to process sensory input. Crazy!
We have all been around and seen those mums who are really stressed and those mums who seem to totally have their life together haven’t we? Well let me tell you something, your babies temperament and personality is formed through two avenues:
From a sensory perspective, we believe that the way a person processes and responds to sensory information strongly influences his temperament, which in turn affects their personality. Personality is moulded by a person’s experience and upbringing....
Therapeeze LOVE to create and come up with fun crafts and activities that double as a tool for addressing specific skills! Here you will find a variety of Halloween activities that can address skills such as fine motor, visual motor, visual perception, scissor skills, hand strength, dexterity, core stability and strength, executive functioning, and so much more.
Paper Ghosts: All you need is paper and some scissors and cut weird and wonderful shapes and don;t forget to cut out a scary face!
Frankenstein Footsteps - Is great for gross motor co-ordination, proprioceptive processing, vestibular processing and planning and organisation of motor movements.
BAT hunt : Get some black card and practice those scissors skills by cutting out bats. Stick them on the wall and then turn the lights off and torch on. Move the torch around the wall to find the bats. Great for visual tracking, visual perceptual skills and fine motor skills.
Emotional Pumpkins: ...
It has not passed anyone that 2020 has been challenging for families and children, especially now they are back at school.
For months they have been home (potentially still are getting home schooled) and so demands and their response to the demands may totally vary. New classroom routines, cultures and expectations.
Not to worry though, there are many simple calming sensory strategies and tools that can be used to help kids with inner regulation during school days, regardless of their school setting or whether they have identified sensory needs.
Calming Sensory Strategies for School
1 A quiet space and a way for the child to signal when she needs a break.
A quiet space can be as simple as a corner with a bean bag chair and some pillows, a small tent or canopy made from a sheet, or even a desk with a partition for some privacy. A quiet space is a great way to limit auditory, visual, and other input so a child can regroup and calm herself down.
SymptomsParents and teachers often notice visual perception or motor dysfunction when the child:
Signs of visual perception or motor dysfunction depend on which of the following visual problems a child has:
The did you knows of challenging behaviour.
Challenging behaviour can be confusing, sometimes triggers are not obvious, sometimes you don’t know how to manage them correctly and sometimes it is overwhelming for everyone in the home.
Let’s be honest, managing challenging behaviour is tough! It is emotionally draining for the child, for the parents and for anyone else who is involved in the situation.
When the triggers are not obvious it is even more challenging for the parent as many parents from experience feel helpless and often blame themselves. Sometimes you feel like you have done all the strategies possible, yet nothing seems to be helping.
Let me explain a few things:
Studies reveal that 1 in 5 children experience mental illness.
Referrals for children who are weak, uncoordinated, unmotivated, behaviourally challenged, anxious and inattentive come to Therapeeze all the time.
Over years of experience there has been a huge change in young children...and not always for the good! It shows up as depression, anxiety, inattentiveness and suicidal thoughts.
I have witnessed first hand over the past decade how many children are not developing the foundations of learning through play, movement and connection due to our busy schedules and technology enriched lives.
When this foundation is not fostered early, it cracks (much like the foundation of a house that isn’t poured properly) and it shows up in the form of mental illness and academic struggles later in life.
While I know this is a stressful time and the global pandemic abruptly changed our lives overnight, I’m hopeful that there will be a silver...
For years I have considered moving into private practice but only since having my beautiful baby girl have I taken the leap. During my maternity leave I considered the model and the approach to the business I wanted to take and thought carefully about who I really wanted to support. A huge factor for me was when Covid-19 occurred and through being in groups on social media I realised the lack of support, guidance and techniques provided to families of children who received a diagnosis. I was reading comments such as ‘since diagnosis we have seen no one’, ‘I have been referred to a specialist but that was 8 months ago and still not heard anything’. With the additional complications of covid-19 for families to receive support I thought how can I support these families and children who are looking and/or needing support but are stuck on how to get it.
My passion and drive of working with families and covid-19 allowed me to be creative and develop the...
Below, you will find hand strengthening activities for children and teenagers. The activities to strengthen fine motor skills included in this post are perfect to improving grip strength, pinch strength, or as part of a finger exercises/isolation and pencil control.
Fine Motor Strength is essential for so many reasons! From maintaining a grasp on a pencil to opening and closing scissors, to buttoning buttons, playing with toys, tying shoes, colouring a picture without stopping, arts and crafts, pretty much everything we do, means hand strength matters!
Signs of weak intrinsic muscles in children: -